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The study of resilience within rural general practitioners


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Aitken, P 2009 , 'The study of resilience within rural general practitioners', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Australia is facing a dilemma with regard to sustaining a rural General Practitioner workforce. The higher workloads and longer hours associated with rural practice, combined with less hospital and specialist support in comparison to urban settings, discourage medical graduates from taking up rural practice. In order to gain an understanding of what contributes to the successful rural doctor experience, the present study explored the subjective experience of ten General Practitioners in rural North West Tasmania who have been peer-nominated as functioning in a resilient manner. The research investigated psychological wellbeing and wellness promotion practices through a mixed methodology of phenomenological qualitative research and psychological measures. The quantitative results conveyed that the participants were as resilient and mindful as the general population, with the qualitative data revealing a model of resilience incorporating the domains of positive belief systems, proactive behaviour, personality attributes, connectedness and positive affect. It was found that a superordinate paradigm of positivity provided a cohesive rationale for the complex interplay of positive attributes conveyed by all participants. Further research is suggested to explore the significance of positivity as a factor of resilience in rural medicine, particularly with regard to recruitment and retention of rural doctors.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Aitken, P
Keywords: general practitioners, rurality, resilience, mindfulness, positive psychology, positivity
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